Shrewsbury Firefighter Michael Filiere Jr. resigned following a video posted to YouTube by WooCountyCatchers, a group that describes itself as “out to catch online predators that are out there trying to lure in minors.”
It is not associated with law enforcement.
Filiere was recorded by the group in the bicycle section of a store where the group claims he had arranged via text message to meet the 14-year-old for sex, according to WooCountyCatchers.
In the video, a member of the group says they posed online as a 14-year-old girl and allege to have exchanged text messages with Filiere who was looking for a sexual encounter.
“The individual you inquired about was a part-time employee of the Shrewsbury Fire Department and no longer works for the department,” a spokesperson for the Shrewsbury Fire Department told MassLive. The Department’s spokesperson confirmed the identity of Filiere as the firefighter who resigned and that after the town became aware of the video, Filiere was given the opportunity to resign.
Shrewsbury Police Lt. Nick Perna confirmed they are investigating a former employee of the Shrewsbury Fire Department. Perna added that due to the ongoing investigation ongoing, they would not release the name of the subject. Perna said no one has been arrested or charged at this point.
In the video posted to YouTube, Filiere first denied his reasons for being in the bike section of the store, where the group said he had arranged to meet a young teenage girl. He later admitted to the two men behind the camera that he had made a mistake and said: “I know that it’s bad.”
The man behind the camera clarified with Filiere that he told him from the beginning of the text conversation that he was speaking to a 14-year-old girl.
“Do you get paid by the cops?” Filiere asked the cameraman. “At the end of the day, I’m not going to justify anything because what I did was f****** wrong.”
Filiere told the men that he sent messages but didn’t send any pictures.
“Let me ask you this,” the cameraman asked. “If it wasn’t us here today and a 14-year-old girl was here today and you went back to her house what would have happened?”
Filiere said that he had never done anything like this before and could be seen shaking after being confronted by the men.
“You guys played me,” Filiere said. “You guys did the right thing.”
The men told Filiere that he was the first person they have caught in their series of sting operations that stopped and talked about what they’re doing. The YouTube post of the confrontation goes on for 15 minutes in total.
When confronted by the fact that if it had been a child and he had done what he said he would do in the messages, it would be rape and he would go to jail.
“I don’t even want to think about that, but you’re right,” the firefighter said.
The two men told Filiere that they would continue the recording until he left because when they report him to the police, they want to prove that the confrontation didn’t become physical.
On the way out of the store, Filiere asked if they would post personal information about him online. He expressed his concern that his family might find out.
“You’re an adult,” came the reply. “You should know right and wrong.”